Fulfilling sales orders

There are several different ways to fulfill an order:

  • From your own warehouse in one consignment
  • From your warehouse in multiple consignments
  • From separate warehouses
  • Drop-shipped directly from a vendor
  • Through an outsourced third-party logistics (3PL) warehouse
  • Picked up by the customer (e.g. POS)

This article will briefly discuss these different scenarios.

Single shipments

Single shipments occur when all of the items on the sales order are on hand in the same warehouse.

It is typically performed from within a sale, by clicking Fulfill > Fulfill and ship later (or Fulfill and ship now). This creates a single goods note for the whole order. When that goods note is shipped, the order will be marked as fully shipped.

Multiple shipments from the same or different warehouses

An order is fulfilled in multiple shipments from the same warehouse when part of an order is out of stock. In this scenario the items which are in stock would be fulfilled first, and then when the remainder of the goods are received, the rest of them would be fulfilled. 

In the case of fulfilling from multiple warehouses, the inventory is all available, but located in different warehouses. Instead of waiting for goods to be transferred so they can be dispatched from the same warehouse, you can send the order in multiple shipments, each originating from a separate warehouse.

In order to be able to process multiple shipments, you will need to activate partial/advanced fulfillment by going to Settings > Products/inventory > Inventory settings and setting 'Split/partial fulfillment and drop-ship purchase orders' to 'Yes'.

Learn more about partial fulfillment here.


If the items you're selling are out of stock, in some cases you may be able to get your vendor to send them directly to the customer. This avoids having to order the stock, receive it in to your warehouse, then send it out again. There may also be items you always drop-ship.

Drop-shipping also requires the partial/advanced fulfillment option to be enabled.

Learn more about drop-shipping here, or in our dedicated help center section here.

Shipments from a third-party logistics (3PL) provider

Some businesses use a third-party provider to handle their shipping. This works in the same way as creating goods-out notes in Brightpearl, except the details of the goods-out notes are sent to the 3PL in order to process, and the 3PL will mark them as shipped on your behalf, either by logging in to Brightpearl directly or using a custom integration.

Learn more about fulfilling using a 3PL here.

Items picked up by the customer

In the case where customers pick their order up themselves, you can simply use the Fulfill > Fulfill and mark as shipped functionality on the order. This will skip the steps involving processing a goods-out note. While the goods-out note will still be created, it will be marked as shipped immediately.


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